Quinton Nyce, left, and Darren Metz of Snotty Nose Rez Kids pose for a photo in downtown Vancouver. TORONTO — Snotty Nose Rez Kids rappers Darren Metz and Quinton Nyce weren’t equipped as children to analyze the vicious Indigenous stereotypes and racist caricatures flashing on their TV screens.
Like many kids of the late 1990s, they were raised on a steady diet of Disney classics while living in Kitamaat Village on Haisla Nation in northwest B.C. Some of those animated movies sent clear negative messages about their identities that echoed throughout the community, they said.
"Peter Pan" presented Native Americans as "savages" who spoke in monosyllables, while "Pocahontas" romanticized colonialism by framing it against a love story, the band said. Metz and Nyce remember how elders rarely questioned the ways Hollywood movies taught Indigenous youth to devalue themselves.
"We grew up with a lot of racism in our community," explains Metz, the 26-year-old MC known as Young D.
"It was normalized, even to me and my parents." The wounds of those memories flow throughout " The Average Savage ," the rap duo’s 2017 sophomore album nominated at this weekend’s Juno Awards in the Indigenous music album category. The 16-track project rebukes those damaging stereotypes they say affected generations of Indigenous people, drawing from audio samples of Bugs Bunny cartoons and a conversation about mascots broadcast on Oprah’s former talk show. Each clip is a pop culture reference point for rhymes about racism in Canada.
"I wanted to make an album about all the stuff that’s been drilled into our heads for years," Metz said.
"It’s a never-ending cycle unless you break it."
Songs like " Kkkanada " and "Savages" are brash, confident and were written to elevate young Indigenous people, rather than attract mainstream accolades. That changed, however, when a jury of music critics and industry players heard the album last year and helped the small independent release land on the national radar with a spot on the Polaris Music Prize short list .
Not long afterwards, tour dates and festival appearances were being locked in across the continent.
It was a shock for the two high school friends who embraced their shared love for hip-hop and began recording music with a "cheap $20 mic" on their computer in 2012, Metz said. New Album coming soon
(Visited 6 times, 6 visits today)